Addressing speculation that Lord Grantham’s dog is leaving “Downton Abbey” because the animal’s name is Isis — which sounds exactly like a common reference to the jihadist group ISIS, also known as ISIL or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant — one of the show’s stars is saying that’s not the case, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
SPOILER ALERT for U.S. viewers who have not yet seen the fifth season of the show: Read no further if you don’t want to know what happens.
Actor Hugh Bonneville, who plays Lord Grantham, wrote on his website that the fifth-season storyline involving the dog wasn’t related to the terrorist group. In the latest episode to air in the U.K., the dog was diagnosed with cancer, which led to speculation the animal was getting killed off from the show because of its name.
Bonneville wrote: “To clarify recent speculation, the Labrador that appeared in Series One (1912-14) was a dog called Pharaoh. From Series Two (1916-1920) onwards, the Labrador has been a bitch named — in keeping with the Egyptian theme — Isis. Anyone who genuinely believes the Series 5 storyline (1924) involving the animal was a reaction to recent world news is a complete berk.”
“Downton Abbey’s” Isis